CSU, Chico Nationally Ranked for Study Abroad Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: 11-19-2008

Joe Wills
Public Affairs
530-898-4143

California State University, Chico is among the U.S. leaders in the quality of its study abroad program, according to a new national ranking of student participation.

According to the Institute of International Education, the leading nonprofit educational/cultural exchange organization in the United States, CSU, Chico ranks second among master’s-level institutions for the number of students studying abroad for one year or longer.

CSU, Chico had 191 students studying abroad for a full academic year in 2006-07, the most recent year that national data was available. Only two other master’s-level institutions sent more than 100 students abroad for a year: Touro College in New York City, ranked ahead of Chico with 300, and San Francisco State, ranked behind Chico with 188.

The prior year, CSU, Chico had 100 students studying abroad for one academic year, earning the University a number-four ranking among master’s-level schools.

Susan Place, dean of CSU, Chico’s School of Graduate, International and Interdisciplinary Studies, said a full academic year is the “gold standard” in study abroad programs because students gain significantly more when they go beyond a one-semester experience. Long-term duration of study abroad experiences is considered a barometer of the programs’ quality, she said.

Only one doctoral-level university in the country had more full-year study abroad students than Chico: New York University, with 230. By contrast, UC Berkeley had 105 students and University of Michigan had 89.

For the 2006-07 year, CSU, Chico had 398 total students studying abroad.

Place said CSU, Chico is bucking a national trend of shorter duration study abroad experiences. In 2006-07, 55 percent of U.S. students studied abroad for eight weeks or less.

“Students who study abroad for a year definitely stand out from their peers in class,” Place said. “They are more academically and socially mature than most of their peers, and add a highly valued dimension to in-class discussions.”

Tasha Dev, CSU, Chico study abroad coordinator, said language fluency and overall learning is greatly enhanced by a full year abroad. She said the biggest regret for students who stay abroad for only one semester is that they didn’t stay longer.

The study abroad data was contained in the Institute of International Education’s annual Open Doors Report, which tracks more than 200,000 U.S. students from approximately 3,000 accredited U.S. colleges and universities.

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Due to a campus clerical error, the number of long-term Study Abroad students was reported inaccurately to the Institute of International Education. CSU, Chico sent 111 students abroad for at least one year in 2006-07, placing third among master’s-level institutions.
Correction posted Dec. 16, 2008